Burnside Bridge Antietam Battlefield
Present Alert Status
Alert Status For Airports
Maurice (Butch ) Eigenbrode, NI2W EC/RO
Herman Niedzielski, K2AVA, AEC
Ron Meihls, KB3MBS,
Bob Long, KD3JK,
Duties as assigned
Since 9-11-01 emergency service has been on our minds. As
amateurs we fully comprehend the importance of the FCC statement of purpose for The
Amateur Radio Service where they see us as a "reservoir ... of trained operators ...
The following provides information about how we have changed our operation and
organization since November 11, 2001 as well as provide information on how to become a
member of the Washington County RACES/ACES group.
Your RACES Officers are required to certify that each RACES operator is registered and
properly trained (ICS courses 100, 200 and 700) in emergency communications. We know
that most amateurs want to be of assistance in an emergency, but feel a little uncertain
as to their ability to represent the hobby well. It is also important to know who is
volunteering so that we can best utilize their particular skills.To help alleviate that
concern, we provide training opportunities in meetings as well as on the nets.
In addition the Washington County Department of Emergency Services requires that
we issue a photo ID to each registered member. Eligibility to obtain an ID is
determined by your completing an application and submitting it to the RACES
Officers. Upon approval your name and other data will be added to the official
RACES Roster, which is appended to the RACES Plan. ID pictures can be
taken by calling the Department Of Fire and Emergency Services and requesting a
date and time to come in.
Since the amateur radio component of the leadership team in Washington county feels that
it is important that all ACES members should be able to respond to any communications
emergency, it was decided that membership in one organization would grant automatic
membership in the other. This meant that we did not have to consider if an amateur could
handle a message from one group or another. This simplifies the task of making assignments
In order to be on the RACES - ACES roster, an amateur must register his/her willingness to
participate. The application gathers "roster" information as well as
operating capabilities. After registration it is the amateur's responsibility to
demonstrate their level of preparedness in terms of participating in directed nets,
the ability to handle messages and the ability to operate using emergency power.
Message handling and net procedures are demonstrated on the various local nets.
RACES - ACES members are also encouraged to participate in the various special events,
such as parades, races and other such activities.
It is also important that all members of the team practice the skill of keeping a log of
messages (formal or informal) that are either sent to them or received from their station.
In a "real time" situation, many messages will be informal in nature. In such
cases it is important to have the skill to track these messages - who originated it - to
whom was it sent - who received it to whom was it delivered.
You can see It is important that we not assume that simply getting involved in QSOs once
in a while, and participation in activities such as contests or special activities will
keep you fully prepared for involvement in emergency response. It takes training and
participating in drills as well as other nets, to keep us prepared.
How do you register?
- Participate in the nets. Where training will be put into
- Assist in those special events when work and family commitments allow.
- Practice keeping a log of all nets that you check in to - note
especially who is sending any kind of message - give a very brief description (in your own
words) of the message who gets it and the date and time of the message.
- Is there an on-line source of some good information? Yes, click here. The new location will
provide a number of choices that you can make to get the specific information that your
are seeking. For a Sample log click here.
Then what? -
First check your home, if you had to go out on an emergency, would things be OK there? The
family and the home do come first!
Now check your equipment and the state of your batteries or generator, be prepared for any
potential power crisis.
Last but not least check the list of things you may want to have with you in the event of
Now, if all of that is completed to your satisfaction, relax, enjoy your family, play
radio (including checking in on one of the nets) and rest assured that your are
prepared. Enjoy life